Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 83: Identifying with other types of sick people and weird stuff.

It's 4am in the morning and here I am writing a post because my sleep cycle has somehow been turned on its head a bit for the past few weeks. I don't know if it's stress from work, or just part of the recovery journey, but I haven't been able to sleep early.

It's been a tough few weeks in the sense that I've grown to identify with some aspects of three types of sicknesses in the world...well, two sicknesses, and one aging problem. With the issues I've faced, I've felt like an old lady, an Alzheimer's patient, and a cancer patient.

The Old Lady

There are a lot of things age takes away from you, and one of those abilities are that of chewing properly... except that my current inability to chew isn't from aging. I think it's a combination of the sensitivity of my jaws and teeth, as well as my fear of biting into something that will mess everything up, that has left me - at almost 3 months post-op - still tearing/cutting things into itty bits and swallowing them whole.

I met with Surgeonman last week, and when I told him that I can't seem to chew, he seemed a little shocked and joked that he didn't want me turning into an "auntie" (which is the local slang for an old woman). Thing is, I'm totally not used to my new bite and it really freaks me out that I might bite something and find my jaws locked in some weird position or something. Maybe it's a confidence issue that will build over time.

I haven't been losing weight though - in fact, I've put back 4 of the 10 kilos I lost from the first couple of weeks of syringing. I think after those first few weeks of close to nothing in my body because I had no appetite at all, my metabolism is probably at a rock bottom low and everything now that is put into my mouth now immediately goes into some "just in case" fat storage or something. Silly body. Stop it!

The Alzheimer's Patient

I now have an even deeper appreciation for the parts of the movie "The Notebook" where it shows Ally getting all worked up because of Alzheimer's. Being unable to remember is THOROUGHLY frustrating.

Not funny.
I have been forgetful. REALLY forgetful. And it feels horrible... especially when I forget things that I should remember. Names, people, plans, things to do, stuff I was just talking about and lost my train of thought mid-conversation... it's terrible. I literally asked my staff "What was I just talking about?" at least 4 times today in a span of 3 hours during our discussions. And today, I met a girl and asked her who she was, and as the group discussion went on and I listened to the comments she made and the little snippets she shared about herself, I realized that I might have had a really long conversation with her a few weeks back and had given her a ride home. I don't remember when or where that happened, but it was like a vague memory... and I honestly don't often forget people - especially when I've spent a while with them and heard from them. This forgetfulness makes one feel silly, stupid, and somewhat irresponsible. It's not fun and I really don't enjoy it.

I did a little search today and found that there's a real medical post-operative forgetfulness thing called "Post Operative Cognitive Dysfunction" otherwise known an POCD which is caused by general anesthesia... un-fun fact: its effects can be long-term. :( There goes my dreams of becoming a university professor. :(( The recommendation I've read so far is to take a gingko-biloba supplement. Great, ANOTHER supplement. I'm already taking a Vitamin C + D tablet, an Omega 3 capsule, a Vitamin B tablet, and another for my hair.

From zero supplements to popping seven a day... maybe I should explore natural remedies.

The Cancer Victim

There are a lot of things I remember about watching my sister's experience with cancer, but one of the tough parts of that was seeing her hair shaved off and how that affected her self-esteem. There was a lot in that phase of life for her, but I remember that the day she decided to allow my mum to just shave it all off, it really hurt me watching her suffer through that. But I guess I'm now experiencing a tiny little hint of what that felt like for her.

Even with my silica hair supplements, my hair has not stopped dropping. It literally drops so much, I am now afraid to wash it daily. Even tonight, the little drain hole in my shower got clogged because of all the hair that decided to leave me. It isn't a positive experience at all, especially as a woman. My hair is supposed to be my "crowning glory" darn it!

I'm thinking I should go and see a trichologist or something now... :( It's terribly depressing.

Other Weird Stuff

Imagine this sound
flowing through your bones. Yuck.
I have found myself VERY sensitive to the sound and feeling of metal on metal, or generally things that involve some sort of metal vibrations. Like when the metal zipper of my bag accidentally scratched against my Macbook pro cover, or when I hold a metal fork or spoon whilst eating and it taps on my ceramic plate. The sound/feeling somehow gives me the goosebumps and I feel like I can feel the vibrations through my bones or something!

It's really weird. I'm starting to think I'm one of the weirdest jaw surgery patients around. >_>

On Happier Notes...

  • My jaw can now open almost two fingers apart! Surgeonman says my lack of ability to open as wide (my sister can open her jaw 4 fingers apart!) is due to a jaw rotational thing I have to work on... but I think in time, with the exercises, things should improve.
  • I have now gone back to using my normal sized tooth brush. I didn't quite choose that - because what really happened was that I accidentally bumped my baby toothbrush straight into the toilet - but I guess it's a good thing somewhat. Not a big deal, but just something more "normal" I've graduated back to.

Okay, enough writing...time to try to get to sleep. It's almost five in the morning! And I have work today!